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'Member In The Spotlight’: Digital Forming Ltd – A 3D software house that proposes to revolutionize product customization



‘More than ever, the pace of technological progress is increasing exponentially and the evolution we can expect in the next two years is likely to surpass the progress seen in the last ten years’

Assa Ashuach


The Digital Forming® technology

Introducing the notion of Open 3D products and the new Digital Forming technology file formats ODO - Original Designed Object and CODO - CO Designed Object. A novel two sided communication platform whereby a designer [the creator of the ODO] designs both the product and the product user experience as an integral and essential part of the product design process. An ODO file is presented to a user with its own product GUI (Graphical User Interface) and a set of built-in functions. The user is then able to co-design within the design experience set by the designer. Once the user is happy with the manipulated design a CODO file can be saved, ready to be sent into the ‘postcode production’ network.

This framework has the potential to democratise the personalisation of everyday products through the utilisation of a synthesis of innovative 3D software solutions, which allow for online customisation and shape modification. Using a vision of ‘postcode production’ where products can be produced locally helping producers to capitalise on their redundant production capacities, with a real impact on the production and supply chain. This in turn reduces carbon footprints dramatically and with on-demand production, conventional storage and logistical issues for mass produced items are removed.



Digital forming was first introduced to the public in an exhibition at London’s Science Museum following a TSB grant in 2009. The notion of ‘open objects within boundaries’ was introduced for the first time during Assa Ashuach’s research at London Metropolitan University in 2005. During his fellowship, Assa introduced the Digital Forming® workflow. This novel workflow was created based on the assumption that 3D objects are fundamentally a line of code, a code that can be stored, embedded and rendered as a ‘virtual open product’ (open, as with ‘no boundaries’). Online and offline, it can then be reconfigured and sent into production in the form of additive layer manufacturing, preferably selective laser sintering technology, whereby complex 3 Dimensional forms can be created one layer at a time from laser fused polymer or metal powder.


This new form of a 3D open object (‘no boundaries’) comes with its own interface and set of in-built rules and behaviors. It has a two way communication system, the designer side and the user side. The designer is designing the object together with the user interaction experience; the user is then co-designing within the experience and is limited by the boundaries set in place by the original designer. These restrictions relate to the areas of the object that can be manipulated, the ways in which they may be adapted and the degree of adaptation to be allowed. A key consideration here is in designing objects that are extendable enough, without jeopardising the products functional soundness and worthiness for production.


This unique communication method offers the user the opportunity to co-design, personalise and shape modify a virtual 3D object, within a pre-designed scenario.  It is a process pipeline devised to introduce a new form of communication and innovative industrial solution within the triangle of the designer, user and manufacturer. A previously unexplored territory.


Together with a team of dedicated developers, Digital Forming®  introduced several new file formats; ODO - Original Designed Object and CODO - CO Designed Object, offering users and designers/brands the platform as a solution to ‘opening’ their products for personalisation through shape modification and re-configuration.


Today it is possible to offer a real-time online 3D co-design experience for the first time. There is no middle man anymore and designers can connect to home users directly from their desktops. Brands can directly connect to their user communities. The focus is on the notion of caring, connecting and co-creating. By staying in touch, brands can convert their users into partners. This is a new industrial reality where the consumer becomes a user, and a user becomes a partner.


‘We should own less but with more value’, ’Things we own need to perform better for us’  - a new form of partnership is evolving between the user, developer, designer and manufacturer

Assa Ashuach 



Assa Ashuach Bon Bon light - open to user shape modification in the digital forming codo application

Digital Forming, CODO side app (co designed objects) online 3D user application

Assa Ashuach studio BonBon light co-designed powered by the Digital Forming technology

BonBon light co-designed, 3D printed, powered by the Digital Forming technology designed by Assa Ashuach studio

OpenPen selection of shape modified objects by Assa Ashuach

The Openpen

Assa Ashuach OpenPen

OpenPen in table holder - 3D prinetd 2in1 the pen inside its holder...

Assa Ashuach open pen inside a box

OpenPen in box - 3D prinetd 2in1 the pen inside the pen box...

Assa Ashuach studio selection of co-designed objects, at Assa's show in Milan design week 2011

Selection of user co-designed 3D printed home objects, at Assa Ashuach Studio show in Milan design week 2011

Assa's lemon squeezer

A new design method, 3D geometry and pixels as material, ready to be produced. The lemon squeezer...

Assa Ashuach lemon squeezer


loop light by Assa Ashuach co-designed by users powered by the digital forming technology


loop light by Assa Ashuach co-designed by users powered by the digital forming technology 

'PolyPix' the new virtual material - real physics to geometrical properties with industrial grade definitions


'PolyPix' the new virtual material - real physics to geometrical properties with industrial grade definitions... 


Assa Ashuach Post code production system

Image of the 'postcode production' system, the city as a production and exchange lanscape.


Images & design by Assa Ashuach studio© www.assaashuach.com


With many thanks to Creative Industries KTN and the TSB

Digital Forming® ltd info@digitalforming.com / www.digitalforming.com



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